CCC 149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal1 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.
CCC 529 The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord.2 With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior-the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the “light to the nations” and the “glory of Israel”, but also “a sign that is spoken against”. The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ’s perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had “prepared in the presence of all peoples”.
CCC 575 Many of Jesus’ deeds and words constituted a “sign of contradiction”,3 but more so for the religious authorities in Jerusalem, whom the Gospel according to John often calls simply “the Jews”,4 than for the ordinary People of God.5 To be sure, Christ’s relations with the Pharisees were not exclusively polemical. Some Pharisees warn him of the danger he was courting;6 Jesus praises some of them, like the scribe of Mark 12:34, and dines several times at their homes.7 Jesus endorses some of the teachings imparted by this religious elite of God’s people: the resurrection of the dead,8 certain forms of piety (almsgiving, fasting and prayer),9 the custom of addressing God as Father, and the centrality of the commandment to love God and neighbor.10
CCC 583 Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth.11 At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father’s business.12 He went there each year during his hidden life at least for Passover.13 His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts.14
CCC 587 If the Law and the Jerusalem Temple could be occasions of opposition to Jesus by Israel’s religious authorities, his role in the redemption of sins, the divine work par excellence, was the true stumbling-block for them.15
CCC 618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”.16 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men.17 He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him]”,18 for “Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.”19 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.20 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.21
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.22
CCC 695 Anointing. The symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit,23 to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation, called “chrismation” in the Churches of the East. Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus. Christ (in Hebrew “messiah”) means the one “anointed” by God’s Spirit. There were several anointed ones of the Lord in the Old Covenant, pre-eminently King David.24 But Jesus is God’s Anointed in a unique way: the humanity the Son assumed was entirely anointed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit established him as “Christ.”25 The Virgin Mary conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit who, through the angel, proclaimed him the Christ at his birth, and prompted Simeon to come to the temple to see the Christ of the Lord.26 The Spirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from him in his acts of healing and of saving.27 Finally, it was the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.28 Now, fully established as “Christ” in his humanity victorious over death, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit abundantly until “the saints” constitute – in their union with the humanity of the Son of God – that perfect man “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”:29 “the whole Christ,” in St. Augustine’s expression.
CCC 711 “Behold, I am doing a new thing.”30 Two prophetic lines were to develop, one leading to the expectation of the Messiah, the other pointing to the announcement of a new Spirit. They converge in the small Remnant, the people of the poor, who await in hope the “consolation of Israel” and “the redemption of Jerusalem.”31
We have seen earlier how Jesus fulfills the prophecies concerning himself. We limit ourselves here to those in which the relationship of the Messiah and his Spirit appears more clearly.
CCC 713 The Messiah’s characteristics are revealed above all in the “Servant songs.”32 These songs proclaim the meaning of Jesus’ Passion and show how he will pour out the Holy Spirit to give life to the many: not as an outsider, but by embracing our “form as slave.”33 Taking our death upon himself, he can communicate to us his own Spirit of life.
1 Cf. Lk 2:35.
2 Cf. Lk 2:22-39; EX 13:2, 12-13.
3 Lk 2:34.
4 Cf. Jn 1:19; 2:18; 5:10; 7:13; 9:22; 18:12; 19:38; 20:19.
5 Jn 7:48-49.
6 Cf Lk 13:31.
7 Cf. Lk 7:36; 14:1.
8 Cf. Mt 22:23-34; Lk 20:39.
9 Cf. Mt 6:18.
10 Cf. Mk 12:28-34.
11 Lk 2:22-39.
12 Cf. Lk 2 46-49.
13 Cf. Lk 2 41.
14 Cf. Jn 2 13-14; 5:1, 14; 7:1, 10, 14; 8 2; 10:22-23.
15 Cf. Lk 2:34; 20:17-18; Ps 118:22.
16 1 Tim 2:5.
17 GS 22 # 5; cf. # 2.
18 Mt 16:24.
19 I Pt 2:21.
20 Cf Mk 10:39; Jn 21:18-19; Col 1:24.
21 Cf. Lk 2:35.
22 St. Rose of Lima: cf. P. Hansen, Vita mirabilis (Louvain, 1668).
23 Cf. 1 In 2:20:27; 2 Cor 1:21.
24 Cf. Ex 30:22-32; 1 Sam 16:13.
25 Cf. Lk 418-19; Isa 61:1.
26 Cf. Lk 2:11,26-27.
27 Cf. Lk 4:1; 6:19; 8:46.
28 Cf. Rom 1:4; 8:11.
29 Eph 4:13; cf. Acts 2:36.
30 Isa 43:19.
31 Cf. Zeph 2:3; Lk 2:25, 38.
32 Cf. Isa 42:1-9; cf. Mt 12:18-21; Jn 1:32-34; then cf. Isa 49:1-6; cf. Mt 3:17; Lk 2:32; finally cf. Isa 50:4-10 and Isa 52:13-53:12.
33 Phil 2:7.